Tao Kurihara (Japanese, b. 1973) for tao Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 2005). Ensemble, spring/summer 2007. Ivory silk knit; white paper; natural cotton canvas. Gift of Comme des Garçons, 2007 (2007.382.2a–f).
Tao Kurihara, like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, is a graduate of the prestigious fashion program of Central Saint Martins in London. She was mentored at Commes des Garçons and, as a protégé of Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe, was given her own label in 2005. Kurihara’s first designs expanded on the leitmotif of sweet femininity that expresses itself intermittently in the collections of Commes des Garçons by playing with the notion of combining knitwear and lingerie.
For her spring/summer 2007 collection, Kurihara juggled another unexpected pairing with her premise of “a shirt and a wedding.” As an originating conceit, it allowed for an exploration of subtly masculine and explicitly feminine elements, beautifully juxtaposed. The collection, executed completely in white, ended with bridesmaids in fine gauged silk knit polo shirts and crinoline hooped skirts of shredded paper. As Cathy Horyn described the conclusion of the show, “The more elaborate skirts, including the bridal number, made a huge heart-pounding rustle, as if to say ‘She’s coming!’”